Why we’re launching Gridwise Analytics

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In 2017 my co-founder, Brian Finamore, and I launched Gridwise with one goal in mind: to help rideshare drivers make more money.

Back then we weren’t a fancy app with lots of features, nor were we designers. Our offering consisted of text message alerts and weekly emails that could help drivers plan ahead and make real-time decisions. This kind of information helped drivers stay busy and also find lucrative “surge” opportunities.

Our first offering to drivers was SMS alerts and a weekly email.

Each day, Brian and I sent drivers multiple text message alerts about airport traffic, weather, event let-outs, traffic, and more. We created these alerts by consolidating information from more than 10 different apps to which we subscribed. 

For the weekly email, we searched multiple online sites to curate events, weather, and scheduled airport traffic. These information-packed emails helped drivers plan their weekly schedule to optimize earnings with their personal schedules.

In the years since, we’ve grown from that small email and text message service to a nationwide platform that helps drivers know when and where they can drive; how to maximize their tax deductions; and when, where, and with what apps they are making the most money.

I’m humbled to say that we’ve helped more than 250,000 ride-hail and delivery drivers maximize their performance on the road. And in early 2020, when COVID-19 blindsided us all, we helped thousands of drivers receive the financial help they needed with our content resources and key partnerships.

As the number of drivers we helped grew exponentially, we began to realize that they weren’t the only ones with challenges in the emerging world of gig mobility. Industry stakeholders were facing challenges as well—namely, a lack of substantive, ground truth data they could use to make sound investment decisions. We spent a lot of time thinking about it, and decided to take the necessary steps to address that need.

Introducing… Gridwise Analytics

Tapping into the same vision and enthusiasm that fueled our development of Gridwise, we’ve created a new product focused on addressing the needs of industry stakeholders.

This new endeavor is called Gridwise Analytics, and today I’m excited to announce its official launch.

Gridwise Analytics provides first-party insight into how people and goods are moving across gig mobility services—and it’s the first platform of its kind to do so. There are innumerable reasons why this is important to industry stakeholders in light of gig mobility’s unprecedented growth. 

A rapidly growing industry 

Firms like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and Instacart have sparked a transformation in how people and goods move within and around our cities.

Ride-hail and demand-responsive transit systems have been adopted by the masses worldwide and depend on these systems as a primary mode of transportation.

But this soaring growth isn’t limited to transporting people. App-based delivery has become even more of a primary means for how we receive groceries, food from restaurants, and every conceivable kind of household goods. 

Although the COVID-19 pandemic caused a massive decline in the demand for ride-hail services, that slump is by no means permanent. Both Uber and Lyft have reported rebounding gross bookings and ride-hail rides.

Source: Uber Q3 2020 Earnings Conference Call

Source: Lyft Q3 2020 Earnings Conference Call

The long-term future of the ride-hail industry is looking especially bright—even after a dismal 2020. According to the Ride Hailing Global Market Report 2020-30: COVID-19 Growth and Change,” the ride-hail market declined to $52.07 billion in 2020, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -13.88%. The ride-hail market is now projected to reach $85.48 billion by 2023, which represents a CAGR of 17.97%—an astonishing recovery from the pandemic-plagued months of 2020.

The outlook is also promising for the food delivery industry. The “Online Food Delivery Services Global Market Report 2020-30: COVID-19 Growth and Change” projects that the food delivery market alone will reach $154.34 billion in 2023 at a CAGR of 11.51%. 

An exciting byproduct of the soaring growth of ride-hail and delivery is an associated increase in the number of gig workers who work for these industries. 

According to an August 2020 joint report by Mastercard and Kaiser Associates, called “Fueling the Global Economy,” the number of U.S. transportation-based gig workers is expected to top 9M by 2023, up from 5M in 2018.

Inevitably, however, rapid growth brings additional challenges…

The Lack of Ground Truth Data

Challenges stem from the current transformation of mobility, which affects organizations across a multitude of verticals. They need to be able to understand trends and patterns across gig mobility in order to make key operational, investment, and strategic decisions. For many organizations, making the wrong operational decisions could result in multi-billion-dollar mistakes. 

Also challenged by a lack of data are regulators, unions, and other advocates who fight for gig workers’ rights. For years, gig workers have battled service providers for better wages, better working conditions, and even the most basic benefits. In defense of gig workers, advocates have had to rely on survey data, which contains innumerable flaws and biases. Most “studies” have even been sponsored by the service providers themselves, or conducted by independent researchers who have no way of accessing comprehensive ground-truth data.

So, why is gig mobility data inaccessible to the people who need it?

Because there are no direct data sources that allow any organization or entity to access the data. And even if there were, the data would be fragmented between numerous service providers. 

The understanding of gig mobility has been a black box … but not anymore. As of today, Gridwise is changing that. 

What can Gridwise Analytics do for the industry? 

With the introduction of Gridwise Analytics, key industry stakeholders will be able to access anonymized, first-party insight into how people and goods are moving in and around urban areas. 

We are convinced that expanded access to this data will help catalyze the changes needed to make mobility more accessible and equitable for communities across the United States.

Data provided by Gridwise Analytics serves as a critical tool for numerous industries and entities, including: 

Municipalities: Access to first-party Gridwise Analytics data helps cities, and states, better understand factors such as gig driver earnings, curb utilization, and the impact gig mobility has on traffic congestion, among others. This can be invaluable for policy, regulation, and infrastructure decisions.  

Mobility Service Firms: Gridwise Analytics helps mobility service firms understand current supply and demand within the gig driving economy so they can inform their go-to-market strategy, optimize pricing, and maximize utilization.  

Regulators and Researchers: Access to Gridwise Analytics data will help to inform policy decisions and research related to workers’ rights, the impact on congestion, multi-modal patterns, and how to create more equitable transportation. 

Investors: Gridwise Analytics can help investment firms make smarter investment decisions. By using our data, they will be better positioned to estimate/predict performance and stock price for companies in the ride-hail, food delivery, retail, real estate, and other industries.

Developers and Retailers: Access to Gridwise Analytics data will enable retail restaurants and stores to better select their next location based on understanding origin and destination trends of people and food, grocery, or parcel deliveries.

How can I use Gridwise Analytics? We’re currently working with a number of partners and are actively onboarding more partners. To find out how Gridwise Analytics can help your organization, please contact us by emailing us at data@gridwise.io.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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